DSW Story Contest Winners

Developmental Service Worker DSW Appreciation Day Story Contest

My DSW Story Goes Back To Childhood

By: Julie Dickison, DSW

My DSW story goes back to childhood in grade 6 when I met and became friends with Melissa who was hurt in a bike accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury just 4 days into the school year. Previously a bubbly and eager student, this traumatic incident kept her out of school for 1 ½ years and significantly changed her life. She had to overcome many obstacles but upon her return to school in grade 7, Melissa and I became inseparable, partly because I saw her as the person she was before the accident, but also because I always had a desire to help people.

I think that this is the primary reason people get into the DSW field. We love to help, guide, teach, do stuff for and care for people. DSWs LOVE to be needed!

As I have grown in my field, I have worked in many of the systems, from residential care with children and adults, to acquired brain injury, to autism services, and through this, my DSW philosophy has significantly changed. I no longer see myself as a “caregiver, or doer”. I am a “partner”.

I hope to continue to develop my skills, and impart my knowledge to new DSWs to help them see that the greatest success and job they will ever do, is watching someone they have partnered with achieve the successes that they have determined for themselves!


Why Do I Do this?

By: Lisa Davidson, DSW

“Why do I do this?” is a question I have asked myself many times over the last eight years as a DSW. But every time, the answer is, “I’ve been on the other side of the fence.  I have been the person supported”. As frustrating as it may be at times to be the DWS and go through everything that we go through on a daily basis, I can tell you from my experiences that it is ten times more frustrating to be the person needs support.

Having suffered through school with a learning disability, the way I learn and the level of support I needed caused many to simply walk away because I was too frustrating or as they put it, “un-teachable”. When I finally found someone who understood and had the patience to work with me, it was my “light-bulb” moment. You have no idea what it feels like to finally understand and be understood.

That “light-bulb” moment is the reason I do my job and I got into Developmental Services; to help people find their moment. Everyone who works in the developmental sector probably knows what I’m talking about and it’s amazing, whether it be a smile, a light in the patient’s eyes that you have never seen before, or even a small pause as if something you have said or done has had some kind of an effect. If I can support someone to feel like that just once, then my question, “why do I do this?” has been answered.


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